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Colorado River Below E.V. Spence: Investigating Sources of Chloride and Total Dissolved Solids

The Upper Colorado River Authority is conducting a field study to identify the source of increasing salt content (chloride and total dissolved solids concentrations) in the Colorado River below E.V. Spence Reservoir.


The Colorado River below E.V. Spence Reservoir is a 66-mile freshwater stream. This segment of the river did not meet the state water quality standard for total dissolved solids (TDS) from 1999 to 2018 and did not meet standards for chloride from 2002 to 2016. Additionally, the Clean Rivers Program has reported increasing chloride and TDS concentrations at their routine water quality monitoring station on Segment 1426 since 2009. High concentrations of these salts may negatively affect uses of the waterbody.

In April 2007, two Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) were completed and approved for Segment 1426. The goals of the TMDLs were to identify sources of high salts and improve water quality in the river by implementing management measures. The stakeholder driven Implementation Plan (I-Plan) was approved by TCEQ in October 2007.

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Project Description

The Upper Colorado River AuthorityExit the TCEQ(UCRA) will implement one of the recommended control actions of the TMDL I-Plan. UCRA will conduct a field study to identify the source or sources of the increasing chloride and TDS concentrations. As part of this, UCRA will review Texas Railroad Commission records of oil and gas activities conducted in the area. After determining the source(s), activity, or activities linked to high chloride and TDS concentrations at this monitoring station, a plan for abatement/remediation can be developed.

The TMDL I-Plan coordination committee, UCRA and the City of Robert Lee will hold a public meeting to gain support and involvement of local landowners and residents. Visit the project website for notifications of public forums, and other project activities.

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For More Information

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at

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